large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

We put Fender’s new guitar tuning app to the test

My battery-powered guitar tuner, received as a present with my first axe, is probably the oldest piece of tech I still use regularly. With my terrible ear for tuning, it hasn’t been under threat in 20 years.

However, a new tuning app from Fender, the makers of the iconic Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars, could change all that.

The Fender Tune app, which is now available for iOS devices, uses the built-in microphone to enable guitar players to stay in tune.

The app, which is one of many tuners available in the App Store, works in much the same way. Users pluck a string and adjust sharp/flat until the desired note is centred.

Related: Guitar Hero Live review

Helpfully, there are a huge array of 20+ pre-set configurations, from standard to Drop D to Half Step Down, which many electronic tuners don’t cater for.

There’s also a manual setting for those able to tune by ear and the chromatic mode, which lets you tune a string to any note of your choosing.

If using the built-in microphone, acoustic players will need a near silent room for the tuner to function correctly, as the app often complains the environment is too noisy even when it really isn’t.

Electric players may have more success, but those without an amp handy can also plug their guitars in to the phone, using the Fender Slide accessory for readings without interference. This $80 accessory also makes it possible to record directly to a mobile device or PC.

Currently, the app doesn’t seem to be compatible with the Apple Watch, which you’d assume would be the next logical step for Fender.

So, does the Fender Tune app spell the end my mid-90s battery powered tuner? Nostalgia says no, but my need to play Green Day songs from the same era in half-step tuning means it’s not if, but When I Come Around.

Watch The Refresh: The latest tech gossip every week

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.